Freight train in Belarus, source: Belarusian Railway

Belarusian Railways allegedly hacked to slow troop transport

Freight train in Belarus, source: Belarusian Railway

The hacking group Belarusian Cyber-Partisans claims to have hacked the computer network of the Belarusian Railways to slow down the transport of troops and military equipment towards Ukraine. “Manual control mode is enabled, which will slow down the movement of trains but will not create emergency situations”, they claim in a tweet.

No official sources from the Belarusian Railways have confirmed the attack. However, the company’s servers are down and websites unreachable as we speak. The hacking group Belarusian Cyber-Partisans announced their cyberattack on the afternoon of Sunday, 27 February, as a response to Russian troops travelling from Belarus to Ukraine.

Railways under attack

“The Belarusian railway has been switched to manual mode of operation. Dispatching system “Neman” is disabled. The associated software does not work. There is information that the Minsk and Orsha railroad hubs are paralysed”, claimed the activist group yesterday evening.

The Cyber-Partisans attacked the computer system of the state railways, while they also hit the network’s traffic control system, which now seems to have been restored. Cybersecurity is increasingly gaining importance in this crisis between Ukraine and Russia. The railways are becoming the focal point of sabotages, confirming the fears of railway companies that their cybersecurity could be at stake.

Second strike in a month

In late January, the same activist group attacked the Belarusian Railways to prevent the company from transporting Russian troops through the Belarusian territory. Back then, the group tweeted that it had “encryption keys, and was ready to return Belarusian Railroad’s systems to normal mode with two conditions: the release of 50 political prisoners who are most in need of medical assistance and the prevention of Russian troops’ presence on Belarusian territory.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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